After hours: Evren Aker

Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick

Tags: Interactive Intelligence Inc (www.inin.com)
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After hours: Evren Aker Evren Aker Presales Manager, Middle East and Turkey, Interactive Intelligence.
By  ITP.net Staff Writer Published  November 19, 2012

Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick.

Evren Aker Presales Manager, Middle East and Turkey, Interactive Intelligence.

How did you end up where you are now?

In the year 2000 I joined a partner of Interactive Intelligence in Turkey as a solutions engineer, where we deployed IVR systems, call centre and the like. After four years, I moved on to another Interactive Intelligence partner in Dubai. After working with two partners and having over six years of experience, the time seemed right to work with the ‘mother’ company, so in mid-2006 I joined Interactive Intelligence.

Initially the company wanted me to work as an engagement manager at its headquarters in Indiana, United States. After initial discussions with the sales team and after two weeks of being recruited, the company decided to operate in the GCC and Turkey through a direct model. So we opened the Dubai office in 2007 where I was posted, and work to the current day. The Dubai office serves the GCC market (excluding Saudi Arabia, since we opened an office there in 2010) and Turkey.

What is your management philosophy?

There is no single correct management style, though there are many strategies set forth to do so. I allow people to manage their own work and focus on achieving goals by setting clear objectives. I also believe that it is important to work closely as a team and keep the communication channels open at all times. Finally, in the position that I am in, relationships play a very important role, and so the team and me are very focused on our partners and customers.

What was your first computer, and when did you first use it?

My first computer was an Amiga 500 run mainly as a playing station and it also had some image applications, but later I moved on to a ‘real’ PC running x386 with 20GB drive and 1.5GB of RAM! Technology of course has advanced significantly since then, but that PC did well for me at that time.

What is your greatest achievement?

In 2001, I completed the implementation of a big project for one of the largest banks in the region. The project was completed in a short time frame of three months and involved outfitting the bank with contact centre infrastructure for 300 agents including servers, contact centre technology, IVR and recording. The team and I were under a lot of pressure but it worked out well in the end. That was also the place I met my wife!

What is your biggest mistake?

I can safely say that I’m happy with all the decisions I’ve made so far. So it’s difficult to really point out one single big mistake.

What is your fondest memory of working in the Middle East IT industry?

Being left alone in a server room for about six hours with a colleague of mine. We were not dressed appropriately and at the end of the time, we were virtually frozen!

What technology will have the biggest impact on the market in 2012?

Based on my experience in the industry and regular discussions with customers and partners, I believe that cloud computing and virtualisation will lead the industry for a longer time.

What’s the best way to deal with stress?

I think any kind of sports is a great way to deal with stress. Going to the gym around three to four days a week is also highly recommended. Last but not the least, spending quality time with family is a great way to unwind.

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